FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Dana Kaplan

New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice
Executive Director of Youth and Strategic Initiatives
New York, NY, USA

Dana Kaplan is the Executive Director of Youth and Strategic Initiatives at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ), where she leads the city’s efforts to implement Raise the Age as well as the Justice Implementation Task Force, towards the city’s long-term plan to close Rikers Island.  Prior to her current role at MOCJ, Ms. Kaplan coordinated the Mayor’s Action Plan (MAP) for Neighborhood Safety, a $210.5 million multi-agency initiative to reduce violence in public housing targeted at the fifteen NYCHA developments that have some of the highest levels of violent crime in the city.  Previously, Ms. Kaplan was the Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, a New Orleans based non-profit legal and advocacy organization.  The organization’s accomplishments under her leadership include the development of juvenile detention center standards statewide, the revision of the New Orleans school discipline code and policies for school security officers at the Recovery School District, and bringing the state of Louisiana into compliance with the US Supreme Court decision that life without parole for juveniles for non-homicide offenses was unconstitutional.  She has also been a Soros Justice Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) focused on detention reform, where she worked with community groups and government on developing alternatives to detention and downsizing local jails in states including Tennessee, California, Ohio, Louisiana and New York.  She was the State-wide Organizer for the New York Campaign for Telephone Justice, a partnership between CCR and two prison family organizations that successfully reduced the cost of all phone calls from New York State prisons by fifty percent.  Ms. Kaplan has also been on staff at the Brooklyn-based Prison Moratorium Project, and has consulted with national organizations including The National Resource Center on Prisons and Communities and the National Education Association (NEA).  Dana holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and received the John Gardner Fellowship for Public Service and a Masters from the CUNY Graduate Center with a certificate in American Studies.

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